The holiday season is great — there’s no doubt about it, but the winter in most places isn’t. That’s why there is no better way to end the year than by taking a vacation. If you want to escape the winter blues, here are some warm winter vacation spots to consider.
For tropical temperatures, beaches, biodiversity, and outdoor adventures, consider taking your winter vacation in Costa Rica. This Central American country offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore volcanoes, rainforests, rivers, beaches, and canals. Popular destinations include the Volcano National Park, where you can see active volcanoes like Arenal and Poas; Monteverde, the most famous rainforest destination in the country; Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast; and Parque Nacional Santa Teresa, which has some of the country’s highest mountains.
Maui is Hawaii’s second-largest island and the one with the most sun. It is a perfect warm-weather destination for travelers who love nature and simply want to relax on the balcony or at the beach. Snorkeling and whale watching are popular activities along Maui’s coast, as is hiking in one of Maui’s many lush valleys. Maui is also home to several great golf courses, including Kapalua Golf Club’s Plantation Course and Bay Course.
Palm Springs, California
Winters in Palm Spring are mild and dry, with daytime temperatures averaging 71 degrees in January. This desert oasis is only a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, making it easy to get to. Palm Springs is a pleasant, senior-friendly vacation destination, whether you prefer golf, lounging by the pool, shopping, or hiking. You can also tour the area’s iconic mid-century modern architecture — like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Twin Palms Estate — or take in a show at one of the region’s many casinos.
While the winters in Pensacola are cooler than in Palm Springs, this Florida panhandle coastal town has lots to offer. Visitors can enjoy activities like golf, fishing, kayaking, zip-lining, and strolling miles on the beach. While you’re here, consider taking a boat tour of Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound, where you can see dolphins up close. If you have time, take a trip to Fort Pickens, an ancient military fort that was built in 1829 by the United States Army.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
One of the best winter destinations in North America, Riviera Maya is consistently warm and sunny during December. It is also known to be one of the most beautiful strips of coastline in the world that is home to a number of archaeological treasures from the Mayan era. If you would like to explore the beaches, you can rent bicycles and snorkeling equipment or go to an eco-park to enjoy snorkeling, cycling, animal exhibits, and cultural shows.